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Humanities: the crisis is due

The primer immediately appealed to me because I had once experienced the scene myself.

– What are you studying?

– in sociology.

-Yes. The worst… what are you going to do with this?


This is how a very interesting report begins, which is published in Journalism On March 5th, on the credibility crisis of the humanities, unfortunately dubbed the “soft sciences,” which are seen as “cloud-scraping” without serious professional outlets.

The article is intended as a defense – which I clearly share – of their importance and the existence of interesting media outlets.

Finding undeniable discrimination

It wasn’t always like that. In the past, sociologists and political scientists such as Fernand Dumont, Guy Rocher, and Gerard Bergeron have been respected, constantly consulted, and guided our major societal choices.

Nor is it as if we are lacking subjects on which a humanities light would be essential: our consumption habits, the environmental crisis, screens, artificial intelligence, immigration issues, redefining the family, and the crisis in health and wellness. Education systems, the relationship between Quebec and Canada, etc.

But in this long press appeal the primary is missing, the size of a mammoth.

The credibility crisis in the humanities is largely due to the fact that they have been hijacked by pseudo-scholars who believe their “militant gruel,” as sociologist Natalie Heinich calls it, is science.

Just look at recent assignments, dissertation topics, content of many courses, supported projects, scholarship award criteria, etc.

These “academic militants,” says Heinich, not only want to understand society, which is the essence of science, but also want to change it, because they see everywhere nothing but domination, exploitation, racism, discrimination, etc.

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We can certainly want to change society, but then we do politics, not science.

These pseudo-researchers are not scientists, because they know the answers in advance: the culprit is capitalist, white, western, patriarchal, binary society, etc.

Admittedly, the presence of ideologies at university is not new—think Marxist-Leninists of the past—but it is worse than at any time since the import of American perspectives: gender studies, race studies, queer studies, disability studies, fat studies. , etc.

The subjects studied are immediately presented as dominant, and one must fight for them rather than simply examining them.

The general public who hears these sermons in the media feels that this is all more about militant ideology than serious science, hence the credibility crisis.

These pseudo-researchers know they have no interest in having their poor productions closely scrutinized, hence the climate of intimidation they create.


In these areas, there are exceptional students, but the average level is low due to the lack of selection at the entrance, which facilitates their indoctrination.

So the credibility crisis in the humanities is largely due. They reap what they sow.

It is infinitely sad.